Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009: Post 3 (The Industry Independent Bloggers Attending)

November 10th, 2009 No comments

The following industry Independent Bloggers will attend the GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009. The list below shows 15 bloggers, though there will totally be 16 of us, it just depends what hat Stephen Foskett decides to wear.

Though I heard we may get some surprise visitors during the event, the names will be released a day or two before the event.

This is a pretty influential group of people both from the storage and virtualization communities that will be attending the event. Expect to see a ton of tweets and blog posts coming out before, during and after the event.

Non of these folks work for vendors, but are rather customers or partners or users or just bloggers of storage and virtualization technologies.

In no specific order, the folks attending the GestaltIT TechFieldday are….


Name: Rich Brambley

Blog: VM /ETC

Blog: Gestalt IT

Twitter: RBrambley

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Carlo Costanzo

Blog: VMware Info

Twitter: CCostan

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Chris Evans

Blog: The Storage Architect

Blog: Gestalt IT

Twitter: ChrisMEvans

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Greg Ferro

Blog: EtherealMind

Blog: Gestalt IT

Twitter: EtherealMind

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Robin Harris

Blog: StorageMojo

Twitter: StorageMojo

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Rod Haywood

Blog: Musings of Rodos

Twitter: Rodos

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: John Hickson

Blog: Studio Sysadmins

Twitter: StudioSystems

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Greg Knieriemen

Blog: Storage Monkeys

Twitter: Knieriemen

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: John Obeto

Blog: Absolutely Windows

Twitter: JohnObeto

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Devang Panchigar

Blog: StorageNerve

Blog: Gestalt IT

Twitter: StorageNerve

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Nigel Poulton

Blog: Ruptured Monkey

Twitter: NigelPoulton

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Bas Raayman

Blog: Renegade’s Technical Diatribe

Twitter: BasRaayman

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Ed Saipetch

Blog: Breathing Data

Blog: Gestalt IT

Twitter: EdSai

Present at HP TechDay: No


Name: Simon Seagrave

Blog: TechHead

Twitter: Kiwi_Si

Present at HP TechDay: Yes


Name: Rick Vanover

Blog: Virtualization Review

Blog: Tech Republic

Twitter: RickVanover

Present at HP TechDay: No


To follow all the bloggers on Twitter that are attending the event, please use the following link.

To follow me on Twitter, please use the following link.

To follow the activity during the times of the event, please see Twitter hashtag #techfieldday

To stay tuned with various updates, continuously check the blog

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GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009: Post 2 (The Vendors and Sponsors)

November 9th, 2009 No comments

GestaltIT TechFieldDay is being kicked off on Thursday 12th of Nov 2009, a two day event by GestaltIT. The vendors will have a chance to have a one on one technology discussion with industry independent bloggers related to various virtualization and storage technologies.

The various vendors attending the GestaltIT TechFieldDay are


Data Robotics

Xsigo Systems

Ocarina Networks



Symantec Storage

The various sponsors of this event are

Bhava Communications



Truth in IT



3Par: We might get to hear about various 3Par Products including the T-Class and the F-Class computing platforms. Also possibly a technology review on the Agile Cloud. Looking forward to meeting up with Marc Farley and his team at 3Par.

Data Robotics: We might get to see and play with the Drobo and DroboPro from Data Robotics.

Xsigo (See-go Systems): Absolutely looking forward to talking to Xsigo systems, there are quite a few customers that have asked about these products. Understanding the underlying technology with Xsigo system platforms is the key. Saw the demo of Xsigo systems running at Vmworld 2009 Expo floors, quite impressed.

Ocarina Networks: I have always read about the Ocarina products, never actually have any hands-on experience with it. It will be great to see the product in action with the Ocarina challenge put forward to bring a 2GB memory stick at the GestaltIT TechFieldDay for a live product demo. Looking forward to meeting up with Sunshine Mugrabi and her team at Ocarina Networks.

MDS Systems: The Green computing blocks, as I would like to call them. Again I personally do not have any experiences with MDS products, but would like to understand the technology, the market, pricing and how it scales in an enterprise environment.

Nirvanix: Tons of questions already lined up for them. Looking forward to the Nirvanix team presentation. I wonder what side of the team would Stephen Foskett sit with this presentation.

Symantec Storage: We will probably hear about some data protection and storage management products from Symantec. I do have some questions on the storage management products from Symantec and would like to discuss those during the presentation.

Along with the vendors, there will be some sponsors of the event.



Bhava Communications: Bhava communications is an up and coming Tech PR company.

Vmware: What can I say about Vmware.

TechValidate: A Marketing Research Company. Looking forward to meeting up with the Tech Validate team. Looking forward to meeting up with Brad O’Neil, a true industry entrepreneur as I would like to call him.

Truth in IT: W.Curtis Preston started company, providing user experience on IT products. I have personally never spoken to W. Curtis Preston and hope this will be a chance to connect with him.


Hope this will be an exciting trip, looking forward to attending the event and hopefully understanding technologies and products from these vendors.

Comments always welcome….

For some reason, I couldnt copy the logo’s of the vendors and sponsors.

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GestaltIT TechfieldDay 2009: Post 1

November 9th, 2009 No comments

We are coming very close to the GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009 being organized in San Francisco, CA and San Jose, CA on the 12th and 13th of Nov 2009.

Over the next few days, you will see a ton of new blog posts coming out from various different sources, including invited bloggers and possibly some vendor posts. I do promise to provide a very extensive coverage of this event. I am pretty sure if you are on twitter you saw the fireworks of #hptechday 2009 that happened about a month and a half ago, I believe this event will cause similar if not more fireworks on twitter with #techfieldday 2009.

This is a very unique event, I am pretty sure, there has been nothing similar to what is being planned ever planned before in relation to using Social Media. An event organized by GestaltIT that will take independent bloggers to vendors to understand the storage and virtualization technology offered by these vendors. The value something an event like this creates is phenomenal and could leave great impact on customer, consumers & user that read through social media for research of a given technology. A ton of credit goes to Stephen Foskett for organizing this event. I would absolutely call this is brainchild. I still remember the day he called me about this event; he was in NYC having lunch and the next thing I know he is talking about this and asked if I can attend.

Though I will give Calvin Zito from HP a lot of credit for the kind of event that HP organized and invited the bloggers, they did set the standard and expectations from an event like this. The results were amazing.

Though I am a pretty new face in social media, only been around on blog and twitter for about a year now, this will be my 5th event in 2009. First it started with EMC World 2009, then VMworld 2009, then HP Techday 2009, then EMC Forums NYC 2009 and now GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009.

This post starts at No. 1 for the GestaltIT TechFieldDay event but I promise by the time this event is done and the postmortem is finished, we will at least have 10 new blog post. I will be republishing some of those on, but some of them will only be exclusive on the blog.

To follow the updates from this event on site look for the Logo

GestaltITTechFieldDay On Twitter, follow me @storagenerve

Twitter hashtag: #TechFieldDay

Also I will be creating a TweetGrid on the site on Tuesday with #techfieldday for a minute-by-minute update on the event.

Stay tuned…

Comments always welcome

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True IT – Storage Stories: 8 (Double faults with drives)

October 27th, 2009 No comments

Storage arrays are busy beast, they continuously seem to grow in number of drives, drive density, controller complexity, total storage capacity, total cache memory, etc. These days every vendor is pushing out these new features along with extended storage capacity. More complexities with hardware and software at times lead to exceptional cases related to spares replacement.

A drive failure happened in a storage system at a customer site. Normal call procedures were followed, a CE was dispatched onsite, logs were verified, a determination was made that the drive was failed in a RAID 5 set and the hot spare has been kicked in. A new drive is ordered and arrives onsite within 45 mins. The CE removes the defective drive and replaces it with the newly ordered drive (while the hot spare was still syncing), but life is back to normal.

Suddenly the customer loses access to the entire raid set of the failed drive. The call was quickly escalated to level 2 support. The engineer made a determination that another drive had failed in the same raid group while the hot spare was still synchronizing causing the entire raid set to fail (caused data loss on the raid set). It was recommended to replace this drive, lets call it drive 2. A new drive was ordered, CE replaced it and the customer started to prepare for data restore from snapshots.

Though someone at the customer site didn’t agree on the chain of events, they requested for level 3 support escalation. Once the engineering guys looked at the logs, they quickly determined that the CE had pulled the wrong drive during the first replacement and it caused double faults in the raid set which caused data unavailability.

Level 3 support engineers asked to insert drive (2) back in the same slot and wait for it to sync. Once the logs were verified then the new drive was inserted in the same slot at the original failed drive (1). With these procedures the customer were able to get the Raid Set functional again and were able to mount the volumes without a data restore.

Lesson Learnt

Though this was obviously a genuine mistake, someone somewhere realized this wasn’t right and asked to escalate the issue. Even the smartest and most experienced CE’s tend to make mistakes under pressure.

Always recommend your CE to wait for the hot spare to finish synchronizing before any drive replacements, atleast that gives an added buffer incase something was to go wrong.

Do not degauss the drives right away, in some cases you may need to insert it back in the storage system.

Schedule all maintenance work for either off business hours or for weekends including drive replacements, etc.

Double faults are rare, but they happen, always try every available option to recover your data.

CE’s at times tend to go the extra mile to recover failed disk drives: Bang them against the floor, throw them on the floor from a 2 feet height or even put them in a deep freezer for 6 to 8 hours.

If your storage system supports RAID 6 (double parity) and there is not added penalty for your applications, you may want to try that option.